23 Things Women Say Sorry About (But Don't Actually Need To Apologize For)

The idea that women apologize when they don’t need to, for things that don’t need to be apologized for, is woven so deeply into our culture that there is even a commercial about it: the wildly successful Pantene ad about women saying sorry this past June. But despite all the recent attention given to the issue — as well as the related feelings of guilt and shame that many of us also feel for apologizing in the first place — we don’t seem to be any closer to unraveling (or ending) our sometimes-compulsive urge to apologize.

Do women spend so much time apologizing because we’re raised to believe that more of our behaviors count as apology-worthy offenses ? Are we apologizing in order to navigate our way through a still-sexist workplace, where issuing normal demands and requests can still brand a woman as “difficult” in the eyes of her coworkers? Are we apologizing to appear more likable? Are we apologizing as a way to commiserate with strangers? Are we genuinely stepping on a lot of strangers’ feet on the bus?

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